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School daycare closure leaves Carleton Place parents 'in the lurch'

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School board not fulfilling legal obligation to provide extended care, parents say
Miller, Robyn
Publication Date: 
22 Oct 2023


A group of parents in Carleton Place, Ont., says the Upper Canada District School Board is failing to comply with a legal obligation to provide extended care for their children after the sudden closure of a before- and after-school program at an elementary school.

The child-care program at Arklan Community Public School in Carleton Place, west of Ottawa, is operated by a third party called Day by Day Child Learning Centre Inc.

The program was closed on Sept. 13 after a protection order was issued by the Ministry of Education.

It hasn't reopened.


In an email obtained by CBC, the owner of the daycare centre wrote to parents on Sept. 28 to update them and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the closure.

The email also included correspondence to the UCDSB where the owner expressed concerns they would not be able to find enough staff to operate the Arklan program.

"Although we fixed the non-compliances, I can not submit them to the Ministry until I have proper staffing in place, which I do not," the email said.

It went on to say "there are no RECEs (registered early childhood educators) to hire in Lanark County, especially in Carleton Place."


UCDSB legally obligated to provide care, lawyer says

Ben Piper, a lawyer with Goldblatt Partners in Ottawa, was retained to draft a letter to the UCDSB on behalf of 16 parents whose children attended the program.


"It's just frustrating," McGee said. "It's been a month now and they still haven't got us an answer on an ETA or a plan or anything."


Since the closure, the UCDSB said it has been working with the provider and "researching alternative solutions should the provider give notice that they want to break their lease agreement."